Have you heard the one about Obama doubling down on Russian invasion of Ukraine? Obama has issued a bold challenge to Russian President Putin: It’s “double or nothing.” If Putin gets a better “March Madness” bracket score than him, Putin gets the Ukraine – and Texas.

OK, yes, that’s a joke, but it’s so close to Obama’s world that it’s downright scary.

In the face of naked and boastful Russian aggression in marching troops across the Ukrainian border and into the Crimean peninsula, Obama has ordered economic sanctions against a list of Russian leaders. Hey, Vlad! Cut it out or we’ll close your Amazon account! No more credit at the London Ritz! And if you take one more inch of sovereign Ukrainian territory, your Super Bowl skybox is canceled forever! And we’re not bluffing!

Russia has been disinvited to the next G8 summit, denounced at the United Nations by U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and threatened by John Kerry. Wow. The Russian oligarchs must be shaking in their boots.

This might be funny if it were a Hollywood movie, but Hollywood is not this imaginative. In the Doctor Strangeglove version, a president with so little to brag about would have to be portrayed as a distracted Texas Republican puppet of Halliburton, not a neo-Marxist Harvard Law School graduate who won the Nobel Peace Prize in the first year of his presidency.

Unfortunately, this dark comedy will not have a happy ending, certainly not for the people of the Ukraine and probably not for anyone outside the Kremlin walls.

We can hope the collateral damage is limited to the East European region, but more likely, the aftershocks will be felt all the way to Iran and Syria, not to mention our allies, Israel and Japan. When U.S. diplomacy fails so dismally and so dramatically, the real-world consequences can resemble an unstoppable tsunami.

The White House says the president’s National Security Council has had almost daily meetings about the Ukrainian crisis, but it hasn’t said how many of those meetings had Obama in attendance. Of course, given modern technology, he can easily follow the action from the 17th tee at the Congressional Country Club golf course. Has “leading from behind” been replaced by hiding in the short rough?

Folks, it’s hard to take this man seriously as a “world leader,” and his approval rating has now fallen below 40 percent. Coming on top of the domestic policy disaster called Obamacare, this foreign-policy tailspin is undoubtedly contributing to the collapse of those poll numbers. Would you hire this man to run your pizza franchise?

However, we need to keep all of this perspective, which means stop laughing and start worrying.

As patriots first and partisans second, conservatives must temper their glee at Obama’s falling popularity with the realization that the nation is in mortal danger as long as this man is the main passenger on Air Force One.

Traditionally, when a president is faced with declining popularity because of policy failures abroad, some adviser will whisper in his ear, “Time for bold action on the home front to change the subject.” So, its’ safe to predict we will soon see some new “progressive initiative” to enhance his standing.

The fact that we are long past bankruptcy will limit his spending options, but there are other ways to “rally the base.” In Obama’s case, that means his left-wing base, which means a revival of class warfare and identity politics, which involves using the poor and minorities as political pawns.

All that is to be expected; changing the subject and “rallying the base” is Politics 101. But in Obama’s case, there is another, more dangerous possibility. Obama’s foreign policy is not based on traditional “balance of power” calculations, nor is it derived from some conventional or common sense understanding of U.S. national interests. Obama is the first president who does not see the humiliation of American diplomacy and the emptiness of our military deterrent as bad or worrisome things.

For Obama, as strange as it sounds, a strong American foreign policy is a menace to world peace. For Obama and for the American left, American retreat from world leadership is not a mixed blessing, it is a great accomplishment.

The embarrassment of U.S. impotence in dealing with Russian aggression in the Ukraine is only the beginning of what will likely be a series of foreign policy disasters. How badly we will be damaged by these disasters we can only guess, but it is not going to be pretty.

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